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No order of development is recognized. It is enough that the
earlier parts should be easier than those that come after. The
idea of mind as a unity in process of development, on the other
hand, calls for a radically different procedure. With that there
must be in the first instance a clear view of the dominant directions
of activity at successive periods of life. Once this is obtained
through a scientific study of the learning mind, there must be a
selection and grading of the material suitable for the course of
study at each period by means of experience and experiment.

In dealing with the arrangement and use of the subject-matter
of instruction, Dewey turns to another aspect of genetic psycho-
logy. Mind, he points out, is essentially social. It was made
what it is by society, and depends for its development on a social
environment. u Earlier psychology regarded mind as a purely
individual affair in direct and naked contact with an external
world. At present the tendency is to conceive individual mind
as a function of social life, requiring continual stimulus from
social agencies and finding its nutriment in social supplies."*
Nature, indeed, furnishes its physical stimuli of light, sound,
heat, etc.; but these have been transformed by man in accordance
with social needs and aims, and the interpretation of them depends
on the way in which the society to which the child belongs acts
and reacts in reference to them. Through social experience he
learns the significance of the bare physical stimuli, and " re-
capitulates in a few short years the progress which it has taken the
race slow centuries to work out.'* This genetic view of mind has
its counterpart in education. Formerly, when mind was sup-
posed to get its content from contact with the world, the require-
ments of instruction were thought to be met by bringing the
child into direct relation with various Amasses of external fact
labelled geography, arithmetic, grammar, etc. It was not realized
that these studies had been generated out of social situations and
represented the answers found for social needs, and consequently
they were presented to the child as mere information without any
attempt being made to relate them to his own needs. Once the
new psychology is translated into educational terms, this misap-
prehension with regard to the process of education disappears.
The subject-matters of history, science and art cease to be re-
garded as something foreign to the pupil's experience. They
* School and Society* p. 108.